The Spectacle Blog

Clinton Transcript

By on 1.13.06 | 9:45AM

On this morning's "Morning Edition" on NPR, Steve Inskeep interviewed Bill Clinton about worldwide health issues. In the course of discussing his efforts arould the world, Inskeep raised the 1993-94 HillaryCare fight:

Inskeep: Mr. President, we're talking about health care. I want to move to a question about health care in the United States. President Bush has been talking about making improvement of health care in the U.S. a top priority. I wonder if you have any advice for him.

Clinton: Well, I don't know if I have any advice for him, but I think that what we tried to do back in '93 and '94, still has some relevance. The real problem was that we didn't have any money 'cause we had a big deficit so we couldn't provide universal coverage without some sort of employer mandate.

Inskeep: Also couldn't build enough political support for a specific solution in '93 and '94.

Clinton: Yeah, well, that was because we had big opposition from the health insurance companies. I think people now see that for what it is. We are spending 16 percent of our income on health care. No other country spends more than 11 [percent]. We spend more on the last two months of life than anyone else. And we also have a lot of defensive medicine because malpractice insurance is so expensive. If we had more self-insurance in big pools, we could also bring that price way, way down.

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